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Added 25 October, 2017

Bug-based meatball snacks jump on insect protean trend

Pop Bugs snack may look like small meatballs, but they are actually made out of crickets. The snack was singled out by a panel of judges as among the most innovative new products on display, both for its ingredients and its taste. However, getting these creepy crawlies into the average western consumer's kitchens will still be a hard sell in the coming years. "From the consumer side in Europe, there's this feeling of disgust that's connected with how we're socialized, whereas in Asia and Africa it's part of the daily diet,” said Ralph Langholz, product manager for insects at Micarna, a Swiss-based meat, poultry and seafood producer whose Pop Bugs marks its first foray into insect-based products. "We definitely have to convince consumers in Europe, and the best way to do so is to give consumers a choice and a good, well-processed product,” Langholz said. "It's not a good idea to come into the market selling whole insects. Instead, it's better to lead the consumer slowly towards entomophagy by providing a tasty product,” he argued, using the term for the consumption of insects as food.

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